Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Five Dollar Fine for Whining


I’ve been thinking a lot about this thing called whining lately.

I guess when I was younger I didn’t really understand what whining was. I certainly didn’t think that I was ever guilty of it. Mrs. Glade, my civics teacher, had a sign behind her desk that said NO WHINING or some such. I never really did understand why someone would be compelled to display a sign like that. It seemed unnecessary.

I understand a little better now what whining actually is. It is more than a sound. It is more like an attitude that has a continual grating sound emanating from it. It’s that grating sound that gets you right at the back of your skull and fills you with rage. I always thought that Mrs. Glade was filled with rage somewhere inside of her; it seemed to seep out through her pores though I have to give her credit for trying to contain it. So it would seem that Mrs. Glade knew what whining was.

I have become acquainted with this whining now. It pervades our house. It’s an ominous feeling that is slowly settling over us, and I feel as if it is going to crush us. It will push and push and push until I go berserk and lash out against it. Well, that’s a little dramatic, but you get the picture.

This has been causing me to think about my childhood home, and looking back, I can see the whining. I think I’ve been carrying the whining attitude around with me, clinging to my hair or my clothes or living as a virus inside me or tucked quietly away in the nucleus of my very cells. Not the I’m so picked on attitude, but the I don’t want to attitude.

This is the attitude my kids have, too. Maybe it is genetic. I say, “Please bring your dishes over to the sink,” and they don’t even have to say they don’t want to; it’s just permeating the air between us. But I can’t really get upset at them for a genetic quality they got from me, can I? It’s like being mad at Zach because he’s tall (you are probably laughing since he did not get tall from me).

Well, being tall can be a good trait, too, so maybe just maybe whining can also be a good trait. So I’m wracking my brain and I think about Jake whining when his mom dropped him off for babysitting today. Did it make her feel good that he didn’t want her to leave him? Or did it make her feel bad that she had to leave? Or bad that she made her child sad? Or bad that she felt good because she got to leave and I was stuck with a whiny child? Maybe all of these at the same time.

All of these are valid, respectable feelings. I would expect her to feel them all if she was any kind of mother, and since she is the best kind of mother, I’m sure she did. Maybe the whining just makes us feel like mothers.

4 comments:

MamaB said...

I love your new header. Did you do that with your scrapbook program? It's adorable!

And yes, we get whining a lot at my house. (Usually from me...!)

Misty said...

Yes, I scrapbooked it.

*We're Unplugged* said...

If you need to get away from all the whining this weekend, my sister in law just started selling Tupperware so I told her I would do a party. It is Friday night @ 7 @ my house. Come if you can.

*We're Unplugged* said...

The bookstore is in the strip mall by Maceys on 1000 North. I loved browsing their inventory while we applied vinyl. They have some cute stuff there.
I can just take a Tupperware catalogue over to your moms if you would like or if you will be in the area, feel free to stop by and get one.